How Options Lead to Happiness & Abundance Mindset

May 30, 2018

Options prologue..

A while back now I dabbled around with polyamory, it ultimately lead to me discovering I was operating from a scarcity mindset in a few of the domains of my life.   I’ve since realized polyamory regarding a serious or long term relationship isn’t for me – nor would it be for any other self respecting man with options, in my opinion.  But I’m happy to have explored it because the experience and insights were more than worth it.  


I’ve been reading a lot of Rollo Tomassi’s work lately.  One quote in a particular article really stuck out to me:

“A man is as confident and valuable as his options.”


This particular quote got me thinking further about abundance and scarcity mentalities.  Options really are the foundation of the abundance mindset.

The Rational Male, Tomassi’s website and book, is mainly focused on inter-gender relations from the perspective of men.   He emphasizes abundance when it comes to being successful and happy in the realm of women and relationships.

The truth is though, that this applies to all areas of life.  Options and the abundance they bring are really one of the keys to happiness.  


Less is more..

Before I go much farther, I feel the need to note that with the options of almost any domain in life, you need to apply a policy of quality over quantity.


When it comes to the wardrobe, I, as much as anyone else love having the options of various outfits.  Though, as a practicing minimalist I know that having a limited amount of quality options produces more happiness, less stress and better results.   Having infinite choices that you must work through to choose from becomes overly redundant and time consuming.


In regards to career or business opportunities, it’s nice to have backup options and a slew of ideas ready to go.  But at the end of the day if you have too many fall back options you may end up jumping around too much, and never fully see the fruits of your labor actualize.  


If you have too many ideas for businesses or startups on the go, you can end up taking no action and spinning your wheels working a bit on all of them, rather than seeing through one of them.

It’s better to have less and go in 100% than to dabble in too many.


In the context of romantic partners, the confidence any human derives from a surplus of potential options is addicting.  That confidence seeps into all other areas of your life.  Despite that, the maintenance required and complexities that ensue from holding too many relationships also tax most other areas of your life.


Not long ago I was having drinks with a friend, she mentioned a book she was reading that stated too many options are the crux of productivity and happiness.  I agreed that too many options resulted in stress and unhappiness (have you ever been to a restaurant with a 12 page menu?..)

But I had to point out that without options, we are neurotic and lost.


What it really come down to is a fine balance between too few and too many.


Defined as..

The dictionary defines the term option as:


“A thing that is to be, or may be chosen.”


I want to focus on the ‘may be chosen’ aspect.  This is the key to abundance mentality.  

Scarcity mindset results when you hold on to something regardless of whether or not it’s good for you.  Even when by letting it go you experience temporary pain or a negative in the short term, but in the long run would yield you even better results.

Those with a scarcity mindset frequently think in terms of finite; that there isn’t enough to go around.  This can be translated as, if they don’t have or do this particular thing – whether it’s good or not for them – then they won’t have or be able to do anything else.

It’s a lack of, or a belief of a lack of options.


Abundance mindset on the other hand, stems from knowing that is one thing doesn’t pop, another surely will.

This belief that everything will be okay leads to a confidence and calmness that we know and love as the abundance mindset.


Now a person can have options, but hold on to them greedily and unhealthily while operating from a scarcity mindset.  Someone truly living with an abundance mindset knows even if they don’t have options now, that they can generate some eventually.


So our confidence, mental health, and abundance mindsets are derived from not only options, but also the belief in our ability to generate further options, and the ability to reject a particular option should it not be in our greatest interest, if we wish, without hesitation.


Your brain on options..

Just as having a healthy investment portfolio is considered ‘Fuck You Money’, having options in the various domains of your life puts you in the ‘Fuck You’ position of those domains.


They say the person in a relationship who needs the other the least has the most power.  This is because that person likely has more options.


Having means to fall back on if plan A or B falls off creates a sense of calmness in you.  It produces a confidence.


Again, when you are required to make too many decisions you become fatigued and start making bad decisions.  But before you can make a good decision, you need to have multiple options to choose from.

Stress can be a side effect of too many options, but like I said so is confidence and calmness once you master how you go about your process of making the choices you do.  

Necessity and neuroticism stems from not having enough options.



Keep your options open..

You have more control of the options that are available to you than you think.  Below are a few suggestions on how to keep you options open and to continually grow how many you have access to.  These are in no particular order of importance.


Learn & grow; continue to develop..

The more you level yourself up, the more frequent opportunities will arise, and the better the quality they will become.  In fact, with more knowledge and experience, you will have a better acumen to recognize these opportunities.  Opportunities are options.


Network & don’t burn bridges; be smart with people..

I’ve held many, many jobs throughout my working career, which started at about 14 – so more than 10 years.  I’ve always striven to leave on good terms so as not to burn bridges.  This is because you never know who this people know, or who you may need a favor from one day.  Most of these jobs I’ve accomplished to leave on good terms, there’s a few that have offered me another position in later years or referred me to someone else.  

There’s also a minority that I didn’t leave on the best terms.  In one case it lead to me missing out on a job opportunity I otherwise would have had in the bag because of a bad referral I got from an emotionall ycharged, and disgruntled past employer.


Networking is increasing your options and opportunities on steroids.  Getting yourself out there and actively pursuing relationships opens all kinds of doors.


Save/invest: Be smart with money..

Money is not the root of all evil.  It is the root of opportunity and the more you have, the more options you have access to.  I truly believe the most basic form of cash smarts is: ‘spend less than you make, and invest the surplus’.  Increasing your earnings, developing the discipline to avoid frivolous spending, learning how to work the system to increase your wealth are all important too and related to this foundation.

Financial freedom is one of the definitions of having options.


Explore; try new things..

The act of going new places, and trying new things is the active generation of options.  Exploring new places and things really ties into many of the other suggestions listed here.  Going new places will help you meet new people and give new experiences.  You’ll learn new things and be forced to grow as a person.  In fact, it might just stimulate the yearning to learn and grow some more.

Ironically, it’s hard to know which options in life are best suited for you if you don’t dabble amongst some of life’s varieties.  I know I mentioned above about spreading yourself too thin, the key is to explore then narrow in.


Flexibility; don’t lock yourself down..

The following advice may be a little controversial and opposed to mainstream thinking.  Take it with a grain of salt. Obligations erode your flexibility.  Flexibility allows you to actually take action and advantage of possible new options.  Some of the main ways that people lock themselves down too soon, are through marriages and mortgages.  It’s not to say that these don’t bring happiness and a variety of options as well, but if done in haste, they severely hamper the options you could run with in life.  


Personally, I think times have changed too radically over the past few decades and these two ‘expectations’ of aging are becoming obsolete.  But it all comes down to your priorities.  If having options are priority, you might be wise to looking into why I think this way.


To conclude..

Options are the foundation of an abundance mindset.  Abundance mindsets are the surest path to happiness  Conversely, too many options become a burden; it’s about quality over quantity.  Further, the ability to generate options also attributes to an abundance mindset and happiness.  Learning and growth, meeting new people, exploring, investing, and staying flexible are all ways to keep your options open, and take advantage of them.


Options; you always want multiple, but not a multitude.


What kind of option’s make you most happy in life?  I’d love to know,

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  • Currently located in China, teaching English and working towards Financial Freedom. I write about money, travel, personal development and more!


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